HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES STAFF ANALYSIS
BILL #: HB 477 Termination of Rental Agreements by Military Members
SPONSOR(S): Rep. Patterson
TIED BILLS: IDEN./SIM. BILLS: HB 505
REFERENCE ACTION ANALYST STAFF DIRECTOR
1) Judiciary Havlicak Havlicak
2) Veterans' & Military Affairs (Sub)
3) Local Government & Military Affairs
Current law requires a military member to pay liquidated damages to a landlord when he or she is required to
terminate a rental agreement due to receiving permanent change of station orders if the landlord, due to the
early termination, has suffered actual damages.
This bill eliminates this liquidated damages provision.
This bill does not appear to have a fiscal impact on state or local governments.
This document does not reflect the intent or official position of the bill sponsor or House of Representatives.
STORAGE NAME: h0477.ju.doc
DATE: March 20, 2003
I. SUBSTANTIVE ANALYSIS
A. DOES THE BILL:
1. Reduce government? Yes No N/A[x]
2. Lower taxes? Yes No N/A[x]
3. Expand individual freedom? Yes No N/A[x]
4. Increase personal responsibility? Yes No[x] N/A
5. Empower families? Yes No N/A[x]
For any principle that received a “no” above, please explain:
This bill may relieve some tenants of the liquidated damages provision in their rental agreements; an
obligation they knowingly entered into.
B. EFFECT OF PROPOSED CHANGES:
Section 83.682, F.S., governs the termination of rental agreements by active duty members of the
United States Armed Forces. Specifically, a military member who receives permanent change of
station orders requiring him or her to move 35 miles or more, or who has been prematurely or
involuntarily discharged from the military, may terminate the rental agreement with written notice
effective at least 30 days after the landlord receives the notice. Along with the written notice to
terminate the rental agreement, the service member must provide a copy of the official military orders
or a written verification of the military reassignment signed by the member’s commanding officer.
When a service member terminates a rental agreement under this section, he or she is liable for the
rent due under the lease prorated to the effective date of the termination. The service member is not
liable for any other rent or damages due to the early termination of the rental agreement except
liquidated damages as defined in s. 83.682(3), F.S. However, the tenant is only liable for liquidated
damages if he or she has completed less than 9 months of the rental agreement and the landlord has
suffered actual damages due to the service member’s early termination.
The liquidated damages are:
• up to 1 month’s rent if tenant completed less than 6 months of the tenancy as of the termination
• up to one-half of 1 month’s rent if tenant completed between 6 and 9 months of the tenancy as
of the termination date.
This bill eliminates the liquidated damages provision in s. 83.682 (3), F.S. The service member is still
required to provide written notice of termination to the landlord at least 30 days in advance and provide
either a copy of the official military orders or a written verification of the military reassignment by the
service member’s commanding officer. The service member would still be liable for the portion of the
rent due under the rental agreement prorated to the effective date of the termination.
C. SECTION DIRECTORY:
Section 1 amends s. 83.682, F.S., deleting the liquidated damages provision.
Section 2 provides an effective date of upon becoming law.
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DATE: March 20, 2003
II. FISCAL ANALYSIS & ECONOMIC IMPACT STATEMENT
A. FISCAL IMPACT ON STATE GOVERNMENT:
B. FISCAL IMPACT ON LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
C. DIRECT ECONOMIC IMPACT ON PRIVATE SECTOR:
This bill could have a negative fiscal impact on landlords who own and rent their property to United
States military members due to their inability to recover liquidated damages from their military tenants
who move prior to completion of their rental agreements.
D. FISCAL COMMENTS:
A. CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES:
1. Applicability of Municipality/County Mandates Provision:
This bill does not require counties or municipalities to spend funds or to take an action requiring
expenditure of funds.
B. RULE-MAKING AUTHORITY:
C. DRAFTING ISSUES OR OTHER COMMENTS:
IV. AMENDMENTS/COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE CHANGES
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DATE: March 20, 2003